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Optimal Wake Time (OWT) is the total period of time baby is awake at any given time, and includes time spent eating. Paying attention to OWT and making sure baby is asleep before becoming overly tired, is essential for great daytime naps which are essential for consistent nighttime sleep.

OWT changes frequently in the first year, and it is very important to stay on top of those changes in order to establish and maintain consistent nighttime sleep.

At times, your biggest challenge will be to find ways to keep baby stimulated during their wake times in order to make it to their age-appropriate nap time. Both parent-stimulated and child-directed play time are important so work towards balancing both.

While optimal wake times are typically congruent during the day, the period between the end of the last nap and bedtime can be slightly longer than baby’s suggested age-appropriate optimal wake time.